Thunder's Kendrick Perkins happy to be on practice court

by Darnell Mayberry Published: March 10, 2011

“As long as I can get about 15, 16 games with the guys, I think it's cool before the playoffs,” said Perkins, adding he doesn't have a target date for a return.

By all accounts, Perkins is close.

Before Thursday, Perkins had been limited to individual drills and 1-on-1 work with assistant coach Mark Bryant. During Thursday's practice, however, Perkins participated fully in 3-on-0 and 3-on-2 drills, as well as some 5-on-5 action.

Perkins said his timing was off in certain areas, mostly when he had to set screens, roll to the basket or find the open man for an assist. But, perhaps most encouraging, Perkins didn't have any trouble getting off the floor, saying he even finished a few spinout lob passes for dunks. Perkins also pushed himself through fatigue and rust without requesting a substitution.

“I'd probably give myself about a six today on a scale of one to 10,” Perkins said. “But I was impressed how it went. I was a little rusty in some spots but it went real well.”

Brooks declined to use Perkins' same grading scale to evaluate his first performance but said Perkins was “really good.”

“He's hard on himself,” Brooks said. “I think every competitive guy is hard on himself. I'd be concerned if anybody on our team gave themselves a 10. I think you always push yourself and he did that.

“He gave us good energy. You could tell he brings good experience. He's a communicator. Defensively, he knows what we're doing. Offensively, he's still picking up the plays. But we went through some sets and he's a quick learner.”

For his first day, Perkins said he “got a lot out of it.”

Now the Thunder is hoping to soon get a lot out of him.

“We're pretty good right now,” said guard James Harden. “And with him on the court, we're going to be even better, especially on the defensive end rebounding and guarding other teams' bigs.”

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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